Leesburg native Buster Posey (28), center, is mobbed by teammates following his walk-off, ninth-inning home run late Friday to lift the Giants past the Dodgers, 2-1.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey has done pretty much everything in his brief major-league career for the San Francisco Giants.
Now he's done even more. He has hit a walk-off home run.
Posey led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a homer to left field -- the first game-ending home run of his big-league career -- breaking a tie and lifting the Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series between the California rivals.
Despite getting outhit 11-4, the Giants survived a start by nemesis Clayton Kershaw, who was making his first appearance since a stint on the bereavement list after the death of his father. Kershaw, who has the best ERA among all active pitchers against the Giants, had shut out San Francisco 4-0 on Opening Day.
Kershaw was long gone, as was Giants starter Barry Zito, before Posey came to the plate in the last of the ninth against the third Dodgers pitcher, Ronald Belisario (2-3). The reigning National League Most Valuable Player, who had driven in San Francisco's first run with a sixth-inning double, took the right-hander to a full count before smacking a liner that easily cleared the fence in left field for his fourth homer of the season.
"It's a good feeling," said Posey, who was well aware of never having hit a walk-off homer since his days in the Giants' minor-league system. "It was already a long game."
In fact, the walk-off hit was the first of any kind for Posey as a big-leaguer. This one was historic -- the first leadoff, game-ending home run in San Francisco since 1976.
"He's their best hitter for a reason," said Kershaw, who gave up Posey's game-tying double in the sixth, the only run he allowed in seven innings. "He made it count."
Sergio Romo (2-2), who pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, was the winning pitcher in the opener of a 10-game Giants homestand.
The Dodgers appear to have lost more than just a game as Hanley Ramirez had to leave with what Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly later labeled a serious hamstring injury.
In just his fourth game since returning from the disabled list with a hand injury, Ramirez was injured attempting to go first to third in the sixth on an A.J. Ellis single to right field. He grabbed at the back of his left leg in pain immediately after sliding into third -- he was out on the play -- and had to be helped to the Los Angeles dugout.
The Dodgers were already unexpectedly short-handed for the game when slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had to be scratched from starting lineup because of a sore neck. Ramirez moved into Gonzalez's cleanup spot.
"It's amazing how many guys have gone down this season. Our big guys, too," Kershaw said. "We just have to find guys who can go up there hitting."
Mattingly said, "This is going to end. It just doesn't look very good right now."
Zito was pulled one batter into the sixth after having surrendered his fourth walk of the night. The walks, coupled with six hits, had him pitching from the stretch almost all game, but he allowed only the one run, benefiting from three double plays.
The run was the first against Zito this season at AT&T Park after 25 1/3 scoreless innings.
"You definitely appreciate keeping your team in the game," Zito said. "From a personal standpoint, I didn't like the way I pitched. But that's the way it is in baseball sometimes."
Zito left trailing 1-0 but wound up with no decision after the Giants tied the score in the last of the sixth on Posey's double to right center, scoring Marco Scutaro, who had belted a one-out triple to the same park of the ballpark. Scutaro's hit ended Kershaw's no-hit bid after 5 1/3 innings.
"Just a bad pitch," said Kershaw, who had walked Posey intentionally in his previous at-bat with a runner in scoring position. "A bad pitch to a good hitter."
The Giants nearly took the lead one batter later, but Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp gunned down Posey at the plate with an on-the-fly throw to Ellis following Hunter Pence's single.
The single, double and triple off Kershaw in the sixth were the only hits he allowed in seven innings. He left without a decision after the 19th consecutive start in which he allowed three or fewer earned runs.
Kershaw scored the Dodgers' only run after leading off the fifth with a double. He scored on Nick Punto's ground ball through the left side of the Giants' infield, the only of 10 baserunners allowed by Zito to score.
"When you're able to strand as many runners as we did tonight," Posey said, "you try to take advantage."
NOTES: Mattingly said after the game no decision had been made as to whether to place Ramirez on the disabled list. The Dodgers have another candidate -- second baseman Mark Ellis, who hasn't played in a week because of a strained right quad. ... The Dodgers stranded 13 runners. ... The winner of the opener has gone on to sweep the remaining games in five of the Giants' nine series this season. ... Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly, who was originally scheduled to start Saturday's middle game of the series, was placed on the disabled list (retroactive to April 30) because of a strain in his right rib cage. Right-hander Matt Magill will make his second career start, opposing the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong. ... The Giants did some pregame roster shuffling of their own, activating reliever Jeremy Affeldt from the disabled list and promoting outfielder Francisco Peguero from Triple-A Fresno. They created room on the 25-man roster by sending third-string catcher Hector Sanchez and reliever Sandy Rosario to Fresno. ... Giants lefty reliever Jose Mijares is not with the team for the three-game Dodgers series. He was placed on the bereavement list after the death of his grandmother.